Friday, May 20, 2011

I need a cross-country itinerary to Arizona

I want to move out west. I have been planning this for a year already. I know I definitely want to study geology among those gorgeous outcrops in Arizona! If I knew anything about networking, I would know a few key persons out there and maybe even some intern prospects. However, I am plodding through the hard way. I know I need to complete some remedial courses in Geology to make up the difference between my undergraduate degree and the pre-reqs for graduate school. I have started taking those here, but have a few still to go... I also need to take the GRE and actually APPLY to grad schools!

On the practical side, I have decided that driving to Arizona is my best travel plan, since I have a car, and I will need one once I get there. How to navigate that distance is my issue. Okay, Interstate 40 goes directly from my house to Flagstaff, Arizona.... a whopping 2,025 miles away! I've read that a solo driver should not aim for more than 500 miles per day... so, there's a minimum 4 days on the road. I have been searching online all morning for websites that would help me plan the trip and all the details like 200 mile breaks, 500-600 mile stopovers, where to eat, etc. I need to stay on a shoestring budget, and still be safe. Plus, I until I can get a GPS unit, I don't want to stray too far off the interstate... I am easily lost trying to find my way out of a paper bag! LOL... also, I am concerned about current flooding in the Mississippi Valley because I will have to cross the Ol' Mississip at Memphis.

I am interested in finding a surrogate church family. I love my church here in NC, and I expect to find a "home away from home" out there...Next order of business is a JOB!!  I will need a place to stay and a way to pay for it, and plus, I want to take advantage of IN-STATE tuition at Arizona universities... I have a couple in mind, but I was first attracted to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff because of their relationship with the USGS Astrogeology Science Center (also in Flagstaff). I hear that Flagstaff gets cold and snowy in the winter.... not my favorite season... and a desert cat like myself might enjoy the more temperate Phoenix area. I was impressed with the Mesa, AZ, area when I took a class trip out to Usery Mountain Regional Park last fall. Four days was NOT enough! I wish we could've stayed a whole semester (or longer!)... coyotes, tarantulas, Bagdad Copper Mine, Superstition Mountains, ... awesome, awesome time!

Okay, that is a full enough post for today. On to other things... thanks for letting me vent! :)

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